16 years in the making, does it have the balls to keep up with the segment sales leading Tacoma? Wayne Gerdes – CleanMPG – Feb. 4, 2021 2022 Nissan Frontier The all-new Frontier is indeed a looker. After 16-yers of minor model refinements to the second gen Frontier (2005 – 2021), Nissan finally revealed an all-new model for the 2022 MY. It will arrive with more power, more utility, and much needed technology upgrades that will push the midsize pickup segment and move the model from an afterthought to possibly the segments best choice. But first, a short sales comparison to the segment leading Toyota Tacoma and other pickups in the hotly contested compact pickup segment. Throughout all of 2020, Nissan sold just 36,845 Frontiers, down 49.1 percent below the 72,369 sold in 2019. By comparison, the segment sales leading Toyota Tacoma, the best-selling small pickup in the U.S. for 16th consecutive year, was purchased by 238,806 new owners, down just 4.0 percent below the 248,801 sold in 2019. Frontier with sales of 36,485 vs Tacoma at 238,806 reveal the aged Frontier was reaching just 15 percent of drives that the Tacoma was. Moving down the list, the recently reintroduced into the U.S market Ford Ranger was purchased by 101,486 new owners, up 13.3 percent over the 89,571 sold in 2019. This was 275 percent higher than Frontiers sales in 2020. Chevrolet’s Colorado was picked up by 96,238, down 21.3 percent vs the 122,304 sold in 2019. Despite the sales falloff, its sales were 263 percent higher than the Frontiers sales in 2020. This again reveals the competition that the aging Frontier was up against and the Frontier was faltering badly. This could change with a much more competitive truck. 2022 Nissan Frontier Exterior As a previous owner of the iconic hard angled Nissan Hardbody, the all-new Frontier brings back some of its predecessor’s tough looks but with a modern flair. Like the rest of the industry, the all-new Frontier is adorned with a large grille flowing down to a rolled under skid plate. The modern thin LED headlamp bezels are sandwiched between thick chrome accent trims above and below. High bodysides are highlighted by thick front and rear fender cladded surrounds. Out back, the smallish rear lamps are not a stand out but the tailgate with the Fronter model name pressed in does. Tough colors such as Tactical Green, Metallic Boulder Grey Pearl (shown), helps accentuate the Frontier’s exterior. The 4WD-only Frontier PRO-4X and new-for-2022 2WD-only Frontier PRO-X feature LED headlamps, LED DRLs, LED fog lamps and Lava Red grille accents. 2022 Nissan Frontier Drivetrain and Chassis The all-new Frontier will arrive with a very powerful 310 hp and 281 lb-ft. of torque direct injected 3.8L V6 is mated to the brands wide ratio 9-speed AT. The 9-speed provides an expanded lockup area and a 99 percent wider gear range (versus the previous Frontier 5-speed design). Frontier’s towing capacity is rated at up to 6,720 pounds (maximum, when properly equipped). New for 2022 is standard Trailer Sway Control, which detects sway and automatically applies the brakes to eliminate it for a more confident towing experience. I can think of a number of places in California's Mojave desert I would like to drive the all-new Frontier. Nissan held back on releasing any efficiency data. I can only hope they got their S**t together and targeted a close to 40 percent Thermodynamically efficient engine. I am not holding my breath on this front as Nissan would have surely touted it if they did. The following has me questioning the all-new Frontier’s steering design. Instead of moving to a less expensive and more reliable all-electric power steering unit, Nissan retuned the Frontier’s hydraulic rack-and-pinion steering gear to provide better on-center feel. Steering gear ratio has been increased by 16 percent, leading to a faster response with less steering effort. It sounds to me like a cost saving carry over design effort but why? Frontier 4WD models feature a shift-on-the-fly 4WD system with 2WD/4HI/4LO modes operated by an electronically controlled part-time transfer case. Frontier 4WD models are available with a 4-wheel limited-slip system, which helps transfer power to the drive wheels with more grip on low traction surfaces. Hill Start Assist is standard on all models, and Hill Descent Control is standard on all 4WD models. All 2022 Frontier’s receive new hydraulic cab mounts that reduce road vibration by 80 percent, while new urethane jounce bumpers provide a smoother ride. In addition to a larger front stabilizer bar, a rear stabilizer bar reduces body roll and increases traction. Standard 4-wheel ABS provides the stopping power. The PRO-4X model receives an electronic locking differential, Bilstein off-road shocks and underbody skid plates. An available high-utility bed includes a factory-applied spray-on bedliner and Utili-track Channel System. The channel system provides ultimate cargo hauling flexibility through the use of three special "C" cross-section rails mounted in the bed. In addition, four fixed bed tie-down hooks help secure adventure gear of all shapes and sizes. And finally, a dampened tailgate assist - new for 2022 - is standard on all models. Inside the bed, two standard stop lamp lights mounted on the back of the cab and two new available LED cargo bed lights make the all-new Frontier ready for any adventure, night or day. 2022 Nissan Frontier Interior A modern and properly sized 9” color central display with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto is standard on all models. The driver 7.0” Advanced Driver Assist Display is configurable and reasonably sized for a modern new compact truck. The Frontier offers 4.0L of center console storage – almost double that of most mid-size pickups – as well as 5.7L of rear-door-pocket storage and 6.5L of front-door-pocket storage. More storage is also provided at the top of the instrument panel. Added insulation, improved rear carpet structure and new front-door acoustic laminated glass are said to reduce interior road noise. And finally, Nissan improved upon an area that the entire segment lacks. That being comfortable front seats. Nissan brought in their Standard Zero Gravity seats with lateral support to help reduce long-range driving fatigue. I have driven the Tacoma <-- the worst of the bunch, and both the Ranger and Canyon which are only marginally better. If Nissan did this right, driver comfort could be a key multiplier to draw taller drivers in particular into Nissan showrooms to purchase the all-new Frontier vs the rest. 2022 Nissan Frontier Infotainment Along with the large central display and both AA and ACP, wireless smartphone charging and NissanConnect with a WiFi Hotspot is available on PRO-4X/PRO-X models. Standard on all models are two front USB ports (one Type-A, one Type-C), two front 12V outlets and Siri Eyes Free. Two 110V outlets with 400-watt capability – one in the rear, one in the bed – are available on SV and PRO-X/PRO-4X models. A Fender Premium Audio with nine speakers is available on SV and PRO-X/PRO-4X grades. 2022 Nissan Frontier Safety The 2022 Frontier includes Nissan Intelligent Around View Monitor with Moving Object Detection and Off-Road Mode. The new Off-Road Mode available on Frontier PRO-4X functions while the vehicle is moving forward at slow speeds and the 4WD system is in 4LO, ideal for negotiating tight trails without having an external spotter to avoid potential body scrapes or dents. <-- I am guessing this is a low mounted forward facing camera to see the terrain ahead that you cannot form the cab? Available safety tech includes Nissan Safety Shield 360 highlighted by Automatic Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Detection, Blind Spot Warning, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Lane Departure Warning, High Beam Assist and class-exclusive Rear Automatic Braking. An Intelligent Forward Collision Warning and Tire Pressure Monitoring System with Easy Fill Tire Alert are all standard. Additional available features include Intelligent Cruise Control, Traffic Sign Recognition and Intelligent Driver Alertness. Rear Door Alert is standard on all models. The all-new Frontier features eight standard airbags. All of the modern safety additions are excellent and furthers the Frontiers desirability. 2022 Nissan Frontier Trims The 2022 Frontier King Cab is offered in 2WD and 4WD S and SV grades. The 2022 Frontier Crew Cab is available in 2WD and 4WD S, SV SWB (standard bed) and SV LWB (long bed), along with the Crew Cab PRO-4X (4WD only) and new-for-2022 PRO-X (2WD only). The PRO-X grade provides the same rugged design touches as PRO-4X but does not include certain 4WD-related content (electronic locking differential, underbody skid plates). Seven option packages will be available. A 5-foot bed is standard on all Crew Cab models, with a 6-foot bed optional on Crew Cab SV Long Wheelbase models. A 6-foot bed is also standard on all King Cab models. Available exterior colors include Glacier White, Gun Metallic, Super Black, Red Alert, Cardinal Red Metallic TriCoat, Deep Blue Pearl, Baja Storm, Tactical Green Metallic and Boulder Grey Pearl – colors intended for fun and adventure. Interior color options include Charcoal, Sandstone and the PRO-4X/PRO-X’s Charcoal with Lava Red. Now about the segment sales leading Tacoma… Looking at each profile, I would have to say “imitation is indeed the sincerest form of flattery.” All-new Frontier on top and the Toyota Tacoma below. The resemblance is striking. With a long overdue modern design, segment firsts in safety and technology, and possibly some great front seats - FINALLY!!!, maybe it is time for compact truck buyers to consider the all-new and upcoming 3rd gen Frontier vs the rest? I can only hope its efficiency is competitive thanks in part to that wide ratio 9-speed AT but that remains to be seen. The all-new 2022 Nissan Frontier goes on sale this summer.